The Pumpkin Runner


Set in Australia, Joshua, a man who loves to eat pumpkins, runs a race that has everyone noticing.  – FIAR Manual

We read lots of go-along stories for this book, including several about Australia and coral reefs.




We sniffed some Eucalyptus essential oil because there are lots of eucalyptus trees in Australia, and they are mentioned in the story.


Such a distinct smell, that the boys ought to be able to recognize now.  🙂


We placed our story disk over Australia…


and found Australia on the globe…


We talked about the two hemispheres and we learned that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, which makes it have opposite seasons to where we live in the Northern Hemisphere.

We put our flag sticker on Australia in our “passport book”.


And colored our Australia page in our geography coloring book…


Character Quality: Perseverance

This book is based on the inspiring true story of Cliff Young…

a 61 year old sheep farmer from Australia who decided on a whim to enter a 900km race from Sydney to Melbourne…and won!  I find this story to be utterly amazing and inspiring.  Watch the video and read about it if you have time!

Language Arts:  How do you spell Australia?

We discussed the correct way to spell and pronounce Australia. We watched YouTube videos to this effect.

Applied Math:  Metric System


We read this go-along story about the history of measurement and learned about the metric system.

Applied Math:  Division

Joshua Summerhayes won $10,000, but shared it with his fellow runners.  We figured out how we could divide $10,000 among 8 people.


In the end, each runner would have ended up with $1,250.00.


We also discussed the size of an acre (we live on just about 1 acre), and pulled up our property on Google Maps so that we could figure out about how big 10,000 acres would be, which was the size of the ranch that Joshua Summerhayes grew up and worked on.


We used this free on-line video to learn how to do traditional Australian Aboriginal Dot Painting…

















Science: Hot Air Balloons

We see TONS of hot air balloons in our neighborhood.  Every year during the winter we see them flying around our house on the weekends at sunrise and sunset.  The manual explains the science behind how the balloons work.  The hot air inside the balloon is less dense than the cold air surrounding the balloon, which makes it float higher.  When the balloon starts to drop, the operator adds more fire to heat it up and help it rise.

The balloon below we watched while eating breakfast one morning…


Then we saw these while driving to get on the freeway…


And this one that flew right over our house one evening…


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